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If Abu Dhabi had announced a decade ago that it was shutting its film festival, it wouldn't warrant more than a passing reference in a Beirut newspaper.Abu Dhabi's Media Zone Authority (MZA) – twofour54, as it brands itself – announced in a Thursday press release that it had canceled the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The ramifications of ADFF's demise are most significant for Arab filmmakers.Abu Dhabi's festival never trumped the prestige of a premiere at one of Europe's major film festivals, but the emirate's petro-economy made it possible to offer various financial incentives.Rebranded ADFF when film festival veteran Peter Scarlet assumed the director's chair a couple of years later, it was ADFF that created Sanad.ADFF announced Ali al-Jabri, erstwhile director of ADFF's Emirates Film Competition, had replaced Scarlet as festival director.One possible dividend from ADFF's closure, however, is that, in future, significant Arab film premieres will not all be clustered in Abu Dhabi, but distributed more evenly among the other film festivals the region.
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